Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

There are years of posts here. The search box works well, but please consider the age of the posts when you find them. The college admission process changes every year!

References to emailing updates to your application are from the years when we didn't have the current applicant portal. Please follow the instructions in your portal to submit all updates.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Admitted to #UVA21 and Want to Make a Return Visit to UVA?

I got word late yesterday afternoon that all of the upcoming Days on the Lawn dates are full! At this point, we can't encourage any more visitors on DOTL days due to parking availability and the fire codes for the spaces where we hold academic panels (for our students' safety and ours, the Fire Marshall attends to make sure our spaces aren't over capacity). We're excited that we've been able to host so many visitors during our seven open houses.

If you'd like to make a return visit to Grounds and weren't able to attend a Days on the Lawn, you can plan your day on our Visit page. The visit page has information about sitting in on classes, requesting an overnight host, and taking another tour.

The one thing you can't do on a typical visit day is tour our residents halls. For security reasons, non-residents can not have access to a dorm unless they are a guest of a student living in the building. Instead, check out the Housing and Residence Life website. The res life team has gathered images of rooms in every residence hall to give you a sense of the variety of accommodations here. Don't miss the residential colleges that are open to first year students. Brown, Hereford, and the IRC are fantastic options to consider!

Ready to explore!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Unofficial #UVA21 Admission Statistics

My post about admission statistics hasn't changed much over the years, but I am so excited to share a big development over in The Office of Institutional Assessment. Every school has an office (the name usually has to do with institutional assessment or research) that publishes data about the school and answers surveys about statistics. I personally think UVA's assessment group has been one of the best around, maintaining clear, easy to digest data (with percentages already calculated, hooray!) about all facets of the University for years and years.

Accessing Official Data from the Office of Institutional Assessment

Our assessment team has recently migrated to presenting data using Tableau. Basically, instead of fixed charts showing years of data, you can now customize tables to show the data you wish to review. It's hard to explain, but you should take a look at the admission part of their website and play around a bit.

I just created this chart about Fall 2016 applicants using residency and school of entry as my variables. Isn't this cool?

Remember that the charts show you the results of an lengthy, elaborate review. They don't show you how we make decisions, but rather how our decisions correlate to different variables (just as the scattergrams your school just show correlation between decisions and testing a certain GPA).

There's also a really interesting report on the results of the SERU 2016 survey, which stands for the Student Experience in the Research University. A consortium of peer schools administered this survey, so you might be able to access the SERU survey for other schools on your list. Of course, make sure to check the percentage of students who completed the survey at each institution. At UVA, 30% filled it out, which I believe is a pretty good return rate for a survey.

If you love data, the Assessment website is a treasure trove that you may enjoy exploring.

Unofficial Data for this Season

These numbers are up to date as of yesterday, March 22, 2017. If you are a reporter, please contact the Media Relations team in the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

Applications for Admission

Total number of  applications: 36,807 (32,377 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 10,942
Total number of OOS apps: 25,865
We only count completed applications here. There are schools that include incomplete/partial applications in their statistics.

Offers of Admission

Overall offers: 9,957
Total VA offers: 4,276 (39% offer rate)
Total OOS offers: 5,681 (22% offer rate)
Schools admit more students than the enrollment goal with yield in mind. Yield reflects how many students accepted our offer of admission.

Class of 2021 goal: ~3,725 students

Testing/Rank (offers only)

Middle 50% NEW SAT score: 1330-1490
Middle 50% ACT composite: 31-34
We use scores from each section in our review, but the reports on averages generate totals. Way more students submitted the new SAT than the old, so I'm dropping the stats about the old exam. 

93.4% of admitted students were in the top 10% of their high school class
This number only reflects those who attend schools that report rank to colleges. Even if your school ranks, they may not report that statistic to colleges. Your counselor can tell you if your schools reports rank.

These are all the statistics I have for now. We are now throwing ourselves into the transfer review process.

Some final notes:
-Waiting list students should be sure to click the link in their letter to read the FAQs. Most of the waiting list questions I'm seeing on the blog are answered there.
-Days on the Lawn emails with your personalized RSVP link will go out this afternoon.
-Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars will be invited to their programs via email today or tomorrow.
-Welcome packets with information about next steps have left the office via US Mail.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Let's Talk about #UVA21 Decisions: The Offer

Admitted students can use this entry to talk. I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2021 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. That group is just for students. Parents, you can check out the UVA Parents Page and the UVA Parents Facebook page.

I'll have post about admission statistics in the coming days and you'll be getting an email with your personalized RSVP link for Days on the Lawn (admitted student open houses) soon. Below your letter are buttons to accept or decline your offer. If you accept, you will see a button to let you pay your tuition deposit online*. Orientation registration will open after April 1st and you'll get more information about that in the future.

You have until May 1st to decide whether you'll be joining us in Charlottesville. If you decide to go elsewhere at some point in the coming weeks, I hope you'll decline the offer via your self-service page.

Congratulations! We are so lucky to have you considering UVA!
Image by Jen Fariello Photography

*We have an e-check system for deposits. You'll type in the numbers on the bottom of a check. The system will take certain kinds of credit cards, but it's primarily an e-check system. Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker when you go to pay the deposit!

Let's Talk about #UVA21 Decisions: The Waiting List

Students offered a spot on the waiting list can use this entry to talk.

This is probably the toughest decision to get from a school. At UVA, the waiting list tends to be large because there are so many different segments to the population here (VA and OOS groups for each of the four schools and the one program that take first year students). At this point, we don't know where there will be openings in the class.

We won't know how large the waiting list is until you all accept or decline your waiting list offers.  Right now, you've been offered a spot on the list. You aren't actually on it until you reply using the response buttons in SIS.

Still, the numbers can change dramatically from year-to-year. We took 42 students off the waiting list in 2015 and made 402 waiting list offers the next year.

For now, you need to look at your other options and think about which one feels right to you. Some of you will want to hold on and see what happens with the waiting list and others will want to fully invest themselves in another school. Either way, you need to submit a deposit somewhere by May 1st to ensure yourself a spot in a freshman class. If you are offered a spot in our class and you decide to accept it, you'll have to write to that other school and withdraw your name from the class (you may lose your deposit at that school). Just remember that you can't "double deposit".

Feel free chat here. You should have already seen the link to the waiting list FAQ page in your decision letter, which answers the most common questions (is the list ranked, what do I do now, what's the time line, etc.).

We hope you find a peaceful place to think about your options

Let's Talk about #UVA21 Decisions: The Deny

Denied students can use this entry to talk.

I know this is hard to handle and some of you might not have gotten a disappointing admission decision yet. I hope you all can look at your options and get excited about your other schools. If your immediate reaction is "I'll transfer", don't let that plan keep you from getting involved in campus life at the school you choose. I think many students come to think of their next choice as "home" and can't imagine leaving it after a little while. Give yourself time to explore your options.

Some students inquire about appealing their decision. We do not have an appeal process, so the denial is your final decision.

Please be polite and respectful of others when posting.

BTW, if you signed yourself up to read the blog by email and don't want the messages anymore, there's an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. 

A Regular Decision Update for #UVA21 Applicants

When online applications became the norm, most college admission officers and school counselors agreed to a best practice around the release of admission decisions. To avoid disrupting the school day and saving students from hours and hours of worry, it was decided that we would notify students of their decisions after the school day was over in our time zone, where most of our applicants live. This also let our staff work on fine tuning decisions throughout the work day.

Most smart, resourceful applicants will look at the 10+ years of posts on this blog and zero in on the fact that we tend to finish our Regular Decision review in the last two weeks of March.

Jack practicing his surprised look. won't be much of a surprise that we're done with our review and we are releasing decisions tonight. Please keep reading. There's a lot of important info to go over.

1. At some point tonight (this is handled by the tech people these days and I don't control the exact time), the "View Decision" link at the bottom of your SIS page will go to a decision letter. If you can't find your login info for the SIS, review the "After You Submit" section of the application instructions. A welcome mailing with info about next steps will come later for those who are admitted. Please do not open multiple windows or constantly hit refresh. Students have slowed SIS down to a crawl in the past by doing it. Use one window. Set a time tonight when you'll check and do something offline until then.

2. The release is always exciting, but some of you aren't going to get the decision for which you hoped. I hope you'll focus on the college options you have instead of the ones you don't. I hope those of you who get offers will celebrate your success, but also be gracious around those who might not have gotten good news.

3. I will post blog entries where you can talk about the different decisions. I'll be back to work through any questions that are asked in the comments tomorrow.  I trust you to be respectful of others in the comments. A lot of people on Grounds will be watching #UVA21 so they can welcome our newest Wahoos to the UVA community. We love seeing your reactions when we check that hashtag!

Keep an eye on the UVA Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook accounts. There might be some nice messages!

4. Please don't post personal information in the comments (contact info, statistics, etc.). After all, school-specific statistics like GPA are subjective and don't represent the applicant accurately. GPAs are meaningless without the high school profile's explanation of the methodology used to calculate them. What's more, there have been times when enough information about an applicant has been shared that their classmates could identify them.

5. Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars will be notified by email by the end of the week. Posts about the waiting list and statistics will come in a few days as well. There is no lag time in our office, so we are now reading transfer applications. Please understand if my responses to questions are a little delayed.

6. You don't need to call us to verify this. It's true. We are releasing decisions tonight. The receptionists can't tell you an exact time or your decision.

THANK YOU to all of you who have read and commented on the blog so far this season.

Regardless of what SIS shows you tonight, you are going to attend a great school. You're going to learn from amazing, inspirational professors, administrators, and peers. You're going to meet people with whom you will stay friends for the rest of your lives. You're going to pull all-nighters studying. You're going to pull all-nighters not studying. You're going to have great successes and you're going to fail miserably at some things. What's going to make or break those experiences is your response and your openness to learning from them, not your location when they happen.

Remember that your decision is not a statement about your value. Most of our applicants are qualified. They are perfectly capable of doing the work at UVA. Our first-year class just isn't large enough to accommodate everyone.

Best wishes to those who won't be back to the blog after this (if you're reading this by email, you can unsubscribe yourself at the bottom of the email). To the rest, I hope you'll continue to comment and stay in touch.

It's a big night and I'll be thinking about you all. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Overlapp Season Returns to UVA

Just when you start to get really, really drained from reading season, the overlap season begins and saves the day. Days on the Lawn brought several hundred admitted students to Grounds over the last few days. These events are supposed to help admitted students, but they wind up giving us an infusion of energy that will carry us through the final days of the process. DOTLs also remind us that a careful, thoughtful review of every application is so important. There are wonderful people behind each application we consider.

When I refer to "overlap season," I mean a time when we are interacting with several different groups of students. We are working with our admitted EA students, RD applicants, transfers (their application deadline was March 1), and juniors visiting us during spring break.

I know our Regular Decision students are eagerly waiting for updates. As always, we will release decisions when we finalize all decisions. We promise decisions will be available on April 1st, but you all know that we will post them earlier, if possible. Keep an eye on one of my accounts (the blog, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) for updates.


 By the way, the photos in today's post are from yesterday's DOTL. The first image is from the morning welcome at the Rotunda and the rest are from the student social in the afternoon. The social is "students only," but I took Jack over to meet some of our visitors.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Class of 2021 Logo Revealed!

I was going to write about a totally different topic today, but a colleague told me that cards with the Class of 2021 logo just arrived and I had to post a picture!

The UVA Alumni Association creates a unique logo for each incoming class. In recent years, they've sent us stickers to give out at Days on the Lawn (DOTL). It's always funny to hear the staff members who are alumni talk about their logo and what they think of the newest one. At least one person in our office is jealous that the Class of 2021 has the Rotunda in their logo. 

Here are the logos of a few past classes. There are even more in my InstaStories, if you want to take a longer walk down memory lane. I personally remember thinking that the Class of 2014's logo was super modern and cutting edge. It seems so silly now!

On your first day as a student at UVA, you'll see your logo and the logos of the other classes on banners at the Opening Convocation.

Wahoowa, Professor West!

On your last day as a student at UVA, one of your classmates (or you!) will lead the class down the Lawn for Final Exercises. *tears*

Between those two days, you'll see your logo pop up pretty regularly online and in person.

The fact that we have a Class of 2021 logo means it's almost time to shift from admitting the class to meeting the class. We are still hard at work, but rest assured that as soon as we are done with our review, we'll release decisions. As always, I'll post here and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook when I have news.

Hang in there, future Hoos!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

March Madness in UVA Admission

I'm so thankful the students on our basketball team aren't playing in the ACC tournament until this evening. They've been slated for afternoon games in the past and everyone winds up sneak peeks at the updates between files. We have a tradition of letting my dog "play" with our opponents' mascots before games. Follow me on Instagram if you want to see how things go this year.

March Madness for us is the knowledge that this process wraps up this month! The end of the tunnel is in sight, though it's still weeks away. At this point, there is still a lot to do! We are reading Regular Decision files and rereading the files that were deferred from the Early Action process now that midyear reports have arrived. We've emailed students missing documents twice at this point. In a few cases, we've called counselors to get some extra information or to track down a missing item.

The Days on the Lawn (our admitted student open houses) planning team is also busy preparing for admitted students to arrive on Grounds. We have a few DOTLs in March for Early Action students and many more in April for EA and RD students together. Personalized links to register are emailed to admitted students. Obviously, we aren't done with the RD process yet. We'll send links after decisions are released.

To get you excited, here are some images from past DOTLs...

This next image is from a new tradition. When the previous First Lady suggested that all students celebrate "signing day," something that traditionally was associated with athletics, we created a faux press conference photo booth so students could take pictures of themselves to post on May 1st, the national "signing day." 

We'll have the photobooth set up in Peabody Hall again this year. Jack sometimes joins it!

Just collecting those images has me excited. Back to the files...